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The Basics of Pods & Pod Systems

Pod Systems Rundown

With the rising popularity of pod devices, it is important to understand the different kinds of pod systems available. There are two primary types of pod devices; open (refillable) and closed (non-refillable).

Pod devices make a great starting point for adult smokers looking to make the switch to vaping. Pod systems are very simple and easy to use and are about as small and compact as possible. When compared to a more traditional style of vaporizer, pod devices are a lot smaller and simpler. There are some trade-offs when using pod systems we will touch upon later in this article. 

The majority of pod devices utilize a mouth to lung style of vaping. Mouth to lung refers to the style of inhalation used with the device; highly resistive emulating the sensation of smoking a cigarette. This utilizes a low power output and higher coil resistance. The consensus among the vaping community is that mouth to lung devices are the best place to start your vaping journey. 

One of the most appealing aspects of pod systems is the compact size. These devices are much more portable than a mod/tank setup. However, the flavor and vapor output of pod systems are generally much less than the previously mentioned mod/tank setup.

This leads to that catch 22: 

Pod systems are extremely effective and simple to use, but can be less flavorful and cost effective than other devices.

One of the reasons for the rise in popularity of these pod systems is their simplicity and ease of use. It is easy for many first-time vapers to quickly learn how to operate these devices. 

There are 2 primary types of pod systems available today:

  • Closed pod systems: pre-filled pods which are discarded once empty

  • Open pod systems: refillable pods that you must fill with your own choice of e-liquid

Closed Pod Systems:

At River City Vapes, the only closed system we offer is the STLTH. There are several alternative closed systems available, and all operate under the same principle:

The pods come pre-filled with e-liquid and are not designed for end-users to open/refill the pods. Once all the e-liquid in the pod has been atomized, the pod is now garbage.

This style of pod device is quite easily the easiest to use. Setup is as simple as assembling the device. The primary trade-off with closed pod systems is the price point. With closed pod systems you are paying more per milliliter of e-liquid.

Open Pod Systems:

Devices like the Uwell Caliburn or Smok Nord are great examples of open pod systems. These kits operate on the same principle that more traditional vapes do:

You fill a tank (or in this case a pod) with your e-liquid of choice, and refill the tank until the coil is used up and needs to be changed.

This style of device is still quite easy to use and offer a much broader selection of e-liquid. Users will pay much less per milliliter of e-liquid, and are now in control of the flavor/nicotine concentration.

With open pod systems, there are two subcategories:

  • Refillable disposable pods: Exemplified by the Uwell Caliburn. You refill the pod until there is a noticeable change in flavor and toss the old one in the garbage.

  • Refillable reusable pods: Exemplified by the Smok Nord. These devices are the most similar to traditional devices. The pod itself is reusable and has a removable/replaceable coil. Arguably the most complicated, but the most cost effective of the pod devices.


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